‘house on 46’, a multi-generational and porous dwelling
‘House on 46’ by Kumar La Noce is a multi-generation dwelling on a tight urban plot in south Bangalore, India. Fitted with a vibrant and porous red façade, the structure demonstrates an intent to understand how domesticity, nature, and privacy can be layered within compact sites while offering dynamic and generous layouts adaptable by the inhabitants. ‘House on 46 is an exercise in pushing the limits of efficiency in domestic architecture to accommodate the rich demands and desires of multiple generations of inhabitants while also creating a home that allows for fluid exchanges and a connection with the outdoors,’ comment the architects.
On the street-side façade, a system of operable metal screens creates the outermost ‘skin’ or exoskeleton and starts blurring the boundaries between private and public, revealing a fluid porosity that responds to the angle of visual engagement. This unique exoskeleton nudges passersby’s curiosity, offering them a dynamic visual experience.
all images © Vivek Muthuramalingam (unless stated otherwise)
creating a breathable oasis in the heart of bangalore
Made using slim mild-steel fins of varying sizes and thicknesses, the metal panels cladding ‘House on 46’ are stiffened through the pattern while minimizing waste owing to the varying lengths. The team at Kumar La Noce rendered the screen in a deep reddish-terracotta, reflecting light falling on the east-facing façade in multiple tones depending on the time of day. ‘Enclosing generous balconies, the screen provides an adaptable front based on the users’ needs,’ notes the studio. Furthermore, large planter boxes are incorporated into the scheme, animating and shading the house’s open spaces.
As for the interior spaces, Kumar La Noce adopted a pragmatic floorplan to maximize usable areas and fully open them out into covered balconies. Walking through its different spaces, the multi-generation family is welcomed by warm-toned and soft design accents, with stark white walls against striking yellow limestone floors with accents in grey granite, teak wood, and lime-rendered wall finishes.
Program-wise, the ground floor hosts a home office with the potential to convert into an independent living unit. Meanwhile, the first level features the main living areas, dining, and kitchen; here, a substantial source of light, air, and outdoor family space comes in the form of an open-to-sky courtyard. ‘This versatile space extends the living area and expands its volume beyond its compact floor plan. It serves as a visual connection between the floors while allowing for climatic regulation of the entire house, ensuring a constant stream of fresh air, especially during the hot summers,’ elaborates the studio. Finally, the second and third floors feature nighttime areas for the family as well as a usable open terrace.
Complemented by a soft play of light and shadows set off by the metal panels, ‘House on 46’ could be envisioned as a kind of oasis, rendered alive by its world of colors, textures, and spaces.